You’ve probably seen Matter headlining most tech articles lately, and you wouldn’t be alone if you said you had no clue what that even meant. Well, Matter is a unified communications protocol that most big tech houses have signed to support and develop together, namely Apple, Zigbee, Amazon, and Google.
What should this mean to all of us?
As a HomeKit user, I’ve always been frustrated at the lack of diversity in Apple’s smart home partners, and if you cruise your local electronics retailer, the chance of HomeKit-enabled devices being cheap is relatively slim. What Matter aims to do is to unify all products across ecosystems into one big group of intercommunicating smart home appliances. For example, your new smart bulb from AliExpress that supports this new standard would be able to be used with Amazon Alexa, HomeKit, Zigbee, and Google Home among others. This makes owning a smart home with family members who don’t own an iPhone much easier.
When can you expect to see it hit shelves?
You can expect most major smart home producers to release Matter accessories soon after Matter’s official release date in early November. Apple has already started to prepare the integration of Matter in iOS since iOS 15, but it seems to be officially released with iOS 16.1 in late October/early November. Developers have already been given access to this capability, so be ready to see some cool apps and integrations when Matter 1.0 officially releases next month.
In preparation for the launch, the Cupertino-based giant completely overhauled the Home app on iOS 16 and added future support for the Matter standard as well as new features such as Category Views, Camera Layouts, Tiles, and Lock Screen Widgets. Once iOS 16.1 is released, the new accessory standard will be officially available for use.
Are you excited for Matter to launch? Do you wish HomeKit accessories were a tiny bit cheaper? Let us know down in the comments or on Twitter @Appleosophy.